Development of a nurse-assisted preanesthesia evaluation program for pediatric outpatient anesthesia

Eric Wittkugel, Anna Varughese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Summary Background Historically, anesthesiologists have conducted preanesthesia evaluation, but more recently, nurse practitioners (NPs) are increasingly assisting with the preanesthesia evaluation of children. In the current economic environment for healthcare, strategies to provide superior outcomes and exceptional patient experience at the lowest possible cost are constantly being explored. We examined whether well trained nurses, working alongside NPs, could safely and effectively assist in preanesthesia evaluation. The aim of this quality improvement project was to implement a new model for preanesthesia evaluation for healthy outpatient pediatric patients: nurse-assisted preanesthesia evaluation (NAPE). Methods Using quality improvement methods, Key Driver Diagrams and SMART aims gave direction for the training and clinical implementation of this new process. Using small tests of change and Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, we developed a training process and a stepwise process to integrate them into the clinical work flow. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of the total preanesthesia evaluations in which the Anesthesia Nurses assisted. To ensure quality and safety, data on balancing measures and quality metrics were collected. Results The weekly percentage of outpatients evaluated by Anesthesia Nurses increased from 0% to 55% within the first 4 months and was then sustained. The remaining patients were evaluated by the Anesthesia NPs. The balancing measures did not show any significant negative effect. Our perioperative quality metrics were also not changed significantly. Conclusion Using quality improvement methods, we successfully improved the utilization of staff resources by adding an Anesthesia Nurse-assisted preanesthesia evaluation program alongside our NPs to provide outstanding preanesthesia care at the lowest possible cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-726
Number of pages8
JournalPaediatric anaesthesia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • anesthesia
  • health manpower
  • nurse practitioner
  • preoperative care
  • quality improvement
  • resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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